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Civil calculator

This calculator will help you work out if you are likely to qualify financially for civil legal aid. If you are unsure of what to do at any question please press the help "i" information buttons.

Step 1

Do you qualify financially automatically?

Please tick the box below if you receive or are included in a partner's claim for any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (Income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income based) 

If you receive these benefits, you qualify automatically on both income and capital for civil legal aid. You will not have to pay a contribution towards the cost of your case. If you tick this box you can just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the calculate button.

If you or your partner receive:

  • income support, or
  • income-based jobseeker's allowance or
  • income-related employment and support allowance

you qualify automatically on income and capital for civil legal aid. We will not ask you to pay a contribution towards the cost of your case.

Step 2

About your household situation

Tell us about your situation and any dependants living with you - this is a child or person(s) who has (have) no income of their own.

Do you have a partner whose income and capital we need to consider?

By “partner”, we mean someone you normally live with as a couple, whether you are:

  • married or not
  • of the same or different sex.

If you have a partner, you must include their resources in the total figures in each step, unless:

  • your partner has an opposing interest in the case, or
  • you are living apart because you consider your relationship to be at an end.

You are entitled to an allowance of £2,004 for your partner.

You are entitled to an allowance for each dependant - adult or child - by a dependant, we mean a child or person living with you who has no income of their own.

For each child or adult (other than partner) £3,250.

Step 3

If you do not receive any of the benefits listed at step 1, work out your net annual income

Work out what you expect your total income (after tax and national insurance deductions) to be in the next year - this is your net income. Then tell us your expenses. If you are residing with a spouse/partner - insert joint income and expenditure. If you are not sure what to include, read the help information. Please enter 0 if you do not receive an income or have expenses. If you are not sure what to include, click on the help "i" information buttons.

The amount in the "total disposable income" box will be calculated when you press the "calculate" button in Step 5 below.

Work out the expected total income (after tax and national insurance deductions) in the next year for you and your partner, if you have one. For civil legal aid, we calculate your income on what you can expect to earn in the year starting from the date we receive your application.

To make adding up the figures easier, round up or down to the nearest pound.

You must include:

  • earnings, drawings or profits from business
  • maintenance payments you receive - either from an individual person or through the Child Support Agency
  • pensions
  • state benefits
  • tax credits
  • statutory sick pay
  • statutory maternity pay
  • student grants
  • money received from friends and relatives
  • income from savings and investments
  • dividends from shares.

Work out how much you expect to pay in the next year for any of the following expenses and allowances that apply to you:

  • maintenance payments you make
  • child care expenses you have because of work
  • expense of travelling to and from work
  • housing costs -
    • mortgage or rent repayments (less any housing benefit)
    • endowment policy premiums (if paid in connection with a mortgage)
    • costs of accommodation (if you do not rent or pay a mortgage)
    • council tax (less any discounts)

This is automatically calculated from the information you gave us about your household at step 2.

Step 4

Now tell us about your capital

Add up all your capital and that of your partner (unless we do not have to consider their resources - see the help information for step 1).

(If you are a pensioner, you may qualify even if your capital is more than £13,017 – speak to your solicitor about this.)

Add up all your capital (and the capital of your partner if appropriate) - this means money and anything else of value that you own.

Examples of capital include:

  • the value of all land and buildings you or your partner own, other than the home you live in, including interests in timeshares
  • money in the bank, building society, Post Office, premium bonds, national savings certificates, etc
  • investments, stocks and shares
  • money that you could borrow against insurance policies
  • the value of any valuable possessions, such as a boat, a caravan, jewellery (but not wedding or engagement rings), antiques or items bought for investment purposes
  • money owed to you or your partner
  • money due from the will of someone who has died
  • money due from a trust fund
  • money that can be released from your or your partner's business or borrowed against business assets.

Do not include:

  • tools and equipment you need for work
  • the value of any property or item that is the subject of the court case (for example, a holiday cottage would normally count, but not if ownership was being disputed as part of a divorce settlement)
  • the value of the house you live in.

Step 5

Do you qualify?

Press the calculate button to see if you are likely to qualify for civil legal aid, and information on any contribution you may have to pay.

Remember that this calculator is only a guide as to whether you are likely to be financially eligible for civil legal aid. You can also check your financial eligibility by calling our legal aid information line on 0845 122 8686. You will also have to meet other tests relating to your case before you can be granted civil legal aid - these are explained in our leaflet Civil legal aid - information for applicants - see our leaflets for the public section. Contact a solicitor who can help you with your legal aid application using our Find a Solicitor page . 


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